Wednesday, December 20, 2006

hike NAKED - are you cazy?

I got a very nice email today from the editor of Best Hike, a blog on hiking (duh? obviously). It was an apology from a flippant article he had written entitiled, "hike NAKED - are you crazy?" A followup article apologized and accepted that "Nude Hiking is for Real".

The chance for friendly and honest conversation is always welcome by me. The original question being asked is 'Why hike nude?'. Many people don't undrestand why us Naturists do so and I'm always happy to point out a few things that may . . . just may . . . change opinions.

The question as to ‘Why Hike Nude’ has many answers but the one I like to point out to the genuinely curious is the matter of comfort. We are all aware of the intense amount of heat our bodies generate on a hot summer day with a heavy backpack. The burden of the clothes you wear make hiking as exercise of overheating and sweating.

The human skin is the largest sense organ we have yet we cover up 90 to 95% under a layer of perspiration-trapping, bacteria-inviting moisture. We do not feel the nuances of the kiss of sunlight or the caress of a breeze because of the clothing we obtensively use to protect ourselves.

A friend of mine once issued a challenge to would-be nude hikers. He suggested that you find a nice wilderness area, take off all your clothes and stack them in a neat pile, and then walk in any direction for a hundred yards or so and back . . . that by the time you got back to your clothes you would have had an epiphany and understand why we enjoy so much hiking nude . . . au’ natural and in total immersion with your surroundings. That huge sense organ (the skin) draws in so much more of the environment . . . you! become that much more aware!

Nudist and naturist philosophy goes deeper than that,of course. Nude is not lewd is a common slogan. Steve Gouge, the Naked Rambler, perhaps does more harm than good with his insistence to being naked even under inappropraite circumstances. Most naturists do not abscribe to that sort of ‘in your face’ nudity. When I hike nude I go out of my way not to put people I might encounter into uncomfortable situations. But neither am I ashamed of my nudity . . . there is no sexual component to it. It is just free and natural!!!

The blog article opined that the answer for more profile is to get female (nude) hikers. I’ll clue you in . . . women do hike nude and the numbers are growing. Unfortunately, the very suggestion for more female nude hikers also reveals a sexist component to the statement. The women I have hiked with are well aware of the voyeuristic tendencies of any immature male hikers they may encounter on the trail.

Try it! You’d be surprised how comfortable hiking nude can be. If you need help or more information contact any number of naturist clubs in your local area and you’ll find them the friendliest people around. Or you can contact me with questions . . . I enjoy advocating. An excellent resource is “205 Arguments to Become a Naturist (Nudist)” which can be perused here.

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